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Posted on Tue Nov 24th, 2015 @ 2:04am by Civilian Haqtaj Matlh

Mission: Trouble on the frontier
Location: Bla'aru; Gaspar

“Could be anything; could be nothing,” Penversen called up. “Won’t know until I feel around. I’ll need to go slowly. Don’t want to bring the whole lot down on myself.” He didn’t know how much of that they heard and didn’t rightly care. Right now he was trying to focus on the task at hand.

Marke nodded and sat back. He had got the gist.

The foetid air down here wasn’t helping, or the heat, or the closeness. For all he knew, he was in a vast cavern but without any light he couldn’t tell. He doubted it. The rubble had left little but small pockets. He was frankly amazed that he had come down so far.

Keren said, almost to herself, "I dislike waiting and not being able to do anything -"

Wait, he yelled up. “Be quiet. He had heard something. He strained to hear it again. It was a whimpering but it wasn’t human. It wasn’t any other race he recognised either. He was about to dismiss it as a waste of time but a life was a life. He made towards the faint noise.

A couple of times he had to re-orient himself; it was hard to tell directions in the dark and a sense of direction had never been one of Penversen’s strong points. He bumped into pieces of concrete and scraped himself on lengths of reinforcing.

Finally he found an animal. It was one of those yappy little dogs so beloved of children and old age pensioners. He bent down to soothe it and it barked tiredly. He lifted his hand again and brushed against something else. He felt around and found it again. It was material. Yes, definitely it was material. He felt around some more and found skin. Searching further he found an arm and traced it back up to a shoulder then a neck. Gingerly, hoping against hope, he put his fingers to the neck.

There was a pulse. It was faint but it was there.

“You are safe now,” he said. “I will get you out.”

There was no response.

He tried again to the same lack of an answer. He decided not to pursue the matter. Time was of the essence here.

He stuck out a hand and felt for the wall of this cavern. Finding it, he turned and headed along what he hoped was the way he had come.

Ten paces later he saw a glimmer of light over to his right. He gave thanks that he had not gone too far astray.

“I have to have a torch,” he called up when he was below the shaft to the surface. “And a radio. There’s a child down here.”

Marek didn't even wait to answer. Let Keren do that; she seemed to like to talk. He was off at a run.

Five minutes later he returned carrying a water bottle, some blankets, a torch, and more rope.

"No radios," he explained to Keren. "Batteries are all being used for the torches. Find out if we can start moving rubble to open the hole more."

"Very well, I just wish...well I suppose it will be enough." Keren didn't bother to say more and glanced around. She was sure she could find someone with a scanner or tricorder, or at least some people willing to pitch in, but it still felt like she was doing nothing. She set off, periodically calling out in the hope of getting a response.

Marek deftly placed the items into the blanket which he tied as a bundle, with the torch on so it could be found in the dark.

"Coming down!" he called.


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